City Cafes Offer Twister, Uno and Monopoly

Card players in the middle of a game of Uno at the club Masterskaya. The club offers a range games to pull in customers on a normally slow Tuesday.

Just arrived in the city? Don’t know anyone? Try a games night at Masterskaya, where you can turn up and join a group figuring out who is the murderer in Mafia or buy up all the houses on Tverskaya Ulitsa in Monopoly.

Located not far from the Bolshoi Theatre, Masterskaya hosts a night of games every Tuesday from 8 p.m. People come alone or in groups to play Monopoly, Mafia, charades, Twister and other games.

“Tuesday is our busiest night of  the weekdays,”  said Varvara Turova, co-founder of Masterskaya.

“People often come by themselves. If that’s the case we usually grab them and put them with a group that needs another player,” she said, laughing. “And if anyone is a bit fuzzy on the rules, we constantly go round the tables explaining rules to people”

“I come here because the atmosphere is really friendly and relaxed, and I meet new people every week,” said Natasha Torkina, 25, a regular at the game night.

“I’d advise anyone new to Moscow to come here. It’s so much fun getting to know each other while playing your favorite games,” she said.

Although Masterskaya seems to have a monopoly on organized game nights in the city, managers of other bars and cafes have started thinking about sweetening their guests’ snacks with a side of board games, too.

If you just fancy a nice cup of tea and a bit of brain-jogging in a quieter, more subdued environment, Starbucks is a good bet.

“Here, people can do more than just drink coffee,” said Yulia Kryukova, a manager of Starbucks’ Ullitsa Gasheka outlet.

Customers can play a game of Scrabble, Monopoly or chess, or choose from a selection of Russian and foreign books.

“People like coming here because we have a very homely, unique and somewhat intellectual atmosphere,” Kryukova said.

Irina Kravtsova, art manager at FAQcafe, which offers its customers a small range of board games, said the lively activities contribute to a nicer atmosphere.

“I get good feedback from our guests all the time,” she said. “They love that they can play games here. Monopoly and Scrabble seem to be the most popular ones.”

FAQcafe, 9 Gazetny Pereulok, Bldg. 2. Tel. 629-0827. Metro Pushkinskaya.

Masterskaya, 3 Teatralny Proyezd, Bldg. 3. Entry is on the left just past the restaurant Serebryany Vek. Tel. 625-6836. Metro Teatralnaya.

Starbucks, Ducat Place 3, 6 Ulitsa Gasheka. Metro Mayakovskaya. Tel. 589-1855.